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Confessions with Shells and Salty Water. A Detective Novel is the first of a three book series by Mada Cazali. The next two novels are: Times, on the Run and The Ring of Fire.
Literary critic and translator Ana-Lucreţia Nedelcu takes this view on Mada Cazali’s art:
Mada CAZALI is a ferocious, high-spirited female writer, with a passion for the detective, dynamic stories. The novel represents a complex of unexpected happenings touched by a poetic glance. In this one, the author gathers facts, memories, crimes, thrilling moments, confusions and poetry in a marvelous and well-designed mixture, resulted in an ideal detective novel, a perfect story ready to be related during chilly Saturdays, accompanied by a cheerful mysterious music.
The captivating dimension of this novel is completed by beautiful lyrical elements and an almost surreal image of nature.
An important element that characterizes the 1st novel is the presence of several couples shaped in parallel or in opposition, according to their interests, preferences, age and nationality: Irina and Petru, Martha and Jim, mother Zou and niece Gülnaz, Officer Matei Danilov and Dana, Magda and father Petrescu. The characters are presented as if they were extracted from the great Agatha Christie novels, characters who harmoniously wear multiple masks: the comedian, the dreadful and the subservient.
A remarkable technique used by the author appears to be when linking the present to the future, the concrete and visible actions to the lyrical memories that point out the psychological side of the characters, translated into a kind of melancholy, dream, nostalgia or regret. All the same, an explanatory point for the reader would represent the building of characters’ route, their journey or their written journal, an aspect that helps for the whole construction of the present novel, leaving nothing behind, particularly written and chosen for a full understanding of the conflict and its nature: “Cahul, June 29th, 2012…”
The unmistakable style and the 3rd person voice of our omnipresent writer encourage us to analyze the dynamic of our daily lives, it portrays a possible society we live in, it covers our senses with precise and quick information about the facts, just like in a journalistic research. Unfortunate daily situations presented with a simple, understandable language, mingle with 1st person reflexive voice, the intimate diary that transcends reality into a magical fairy-tale and poetic memory. There is an existential level that appears detached from the rest of the concrete one, but that comes as a miraculous support in solving the detective cases.
Last but not least, this novel speaks about history’s atrocities, Romanian historical facts linked to political and social happenings. I leave you, the reader, to discover the essence of these facts. Were they seen by an objective eye or were some of these events part of author’s life? Here, among these lines, we find a multidisciplinary style quite hard to approach for a writer, but upon which Mrs. CAZALI acts with simplicity and easiness. This is why, I warmly recommend Mrs. CAZALI’s writings, which are full of both dynamism and poetry.
Ana-Lucreţia NEDELCU–philologist, translator, writer, World Poetry Canada & International